Phuket Vacation dot Asia
holiday in phuket
phuket thailand beach
  Phuket Town

Phuket Town's low-key attractions are mostly related to its colourful Chinese history and heritage, found in the Chinatown area on the north-western side of the city around Thanon Thalang.

Old Phuket. The start of the tin boom in the 19th century led to construction of many fine mansions and shops that are still well preserved. The architectural elegance, typical of the region, is described as Sino-Portuguese and has a strongly Mediterranean character. Shops display a very narrow face onto the street but stretch back a extended way. Many, especially on Dibuk Road, contain old wooden doors with Chinese fretwork carving.

Other streets, forming what might be called "Old Phuket", with comparable structures are Phang-nga, Yaowarat, Thalang, and Krabi, and a walking tour of the area is comfortable and delightful. A number of other old European-style buildings of note are the Provincial Hall, the Phuket Courthouse, and Siam City Bank.

Jui Tui and Put Jaw Temples corner of Thanon Ranong and Soi Phuthon (just west of the Ranong bus terminus). Put Jaw is the oldest Chinese Taoist temple in Phuket, first built over 200 years ago and devoted to the Goddess of Mercy (Kwun Im), while the adjacent and connected Jui Tui is its larger, more modern annex. If you have a question that is puzzling you, ask it and toss the two red mango-shaped pieces in front of the altar in the air: If they land the same side up the answer is "no", while if they land on different sides the answer is "yes". Free of charge entry but donations welcome.

Wat Mongkol Nimit Thanon Dibuk. A classical Thai-style temple with a soaring roof and lots of colourful glass tiling.

Phuket Culture Museum at Rajabhat University. It's free and very informative. Phuket's history is told in pictures and still scenes.

Khao Rang A great view of Phuket Town, the southern part of the island, and some of the offshore islands, can be obtained by going to the top of Khao Rang Hill, on the town's northwest border. There are also several restaurants featuring spectacular views of the city, a health park for exercise enthusiasts, and a comfortable, expanse of grass at the top with a bronze statue of Phraya Ratsada Nupradit, the model Governor of Phuket during King Rama V's reign.

Saphan Hin A ground reclamation project provided abundant new land now used for parks and public facilities at Saphan Hin, located where Phuket Road meets the sea in Phuket Town. In the circle is the Tin Mining Monument, shaped like a large drill bit, dedicated to the memory of Captain Edward Thomas Miles, the Australian who brought the first tin dredge to Phuket in 1909. The monument was built in 1969 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of tin dredging in Phuket. There is a sport center in the park.

Phuket Butterfly Farm. 3km from town via Yaowarat Road and the Sam Kong intersection. It has a fascinating collection of such tropical creatures as butterflies, insects, marine life all arranged in natural surroundings. It is open daily from 9.00 a.M.-5.00 p.M. Admission is 300 bath for adults and 150 baht for children. Tel: 0 7621 0861, Fax: 0 7652 3609

Phuket Cultural Center. Located in the area of the Phuket Rajabhat University on Thepkrasattri Road. It displays history as well as the arts and culture of Phuket, such as houses, ways of life, and utensils of the city of Thalang in ancient times. Furthermore, the library collects books on Phuket's history and culture. The center is open daily for free from 8.30 a.M. - 4.30 p.M., except public holidays. For a group of visitors who needs a guided tour, please address a letter of request to the Phuket Cultural Center at 21 Thepkrasattri Road, Tambon Ratsada, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Phuket, or call Tel. 0 7624 0474-6 ext. 148,0 7621 1959, 0 7622 2370, Fax: 0 7621 1778.

Thai Village and Orchid Farm. Located on Thepkasattri Road about 3km from town, serves daily a typical southern Thai lunch that is followed by a spectacular cultural show including Thai dances, Thai boxing southern customs and elephants. Handicrafts are also on display. The complex also houses a dining hall decorated with over 20,000 varieties of orchid and tropical trees. Digestion is aided by the lilting sounds of Thai classical and folk music played on tradition instruments. It is open daily from 9.00 a.m.-9.00 p.m. Cultural shows are performed daily at 1.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. Admission is 650 baht for adults and 330 baht for children. Call 0 7621 4860, 0 7623 7400 for details.

Phuket Zoo. Located on the way to Chalong Bay, the zoo contains a collection of Asian and African mammals and birds. Elephant and crocodile shows are performed every day. The zoo is open daily from 8.30 a.m. - 6.00 p.m. Admission is 500 baht for adults and 300 baht for children. Call 0 7637 4430, 0 7637 4424 for details.

Wat Chalong. A beautiful Buddhist temple located on the southern end of the island. This is where stands the cast statue of Luang Pho Cham, who helped the people of Phuket, put down the Angyee, or Chinese Coolie Rebellion, in 1876 during the reign of Rama V. There are also statues of Luang Pho Chuang, and Luang Pho Cham, abbots of the temple during later times. Wat Chalong is about 8 kilometres outside town. Take Wichit Songkram Road to the bypass and turn left, and drive for about 10 minutes. Wat Chalong is on the left


Two Heroines Monument Phuket’s most famous monument in Amphoe Thalang is the memorial statue of the heroines Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sisunthon, who rallied islanders in 1785 to repel Burmese invaders.

Thalang National Museum This is located near the Two Heroines Monument. The museum contain permanent exhibition of life in old Phuket, ancient artefacts and remains discovered on the coast and, materials used during war with Burma (Myanmar). It is open daily except national holidays from 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m. Admission is 30 baht. For more information call 0 7631 1426, 0 7631 3397, 0 7631 1206.

Wat Phra Thong Situated some 20 kilometres from Phuket town past the Thalang district office, this temple enshrines a golden Buddha image that sprang up from beneath the earth long ago. The story tells of a young boy who tied his buffalo to what he thought was a post. After doing so, he fell down in agony and died. The father of the boy dreamed that the reason his son had died was for the sin of tying a filthy buffalo to a sacred object, that what the boy thought was a post was in reality the golden peak of the Buddha's conical cap. He told his neighbors the dream and they all went out to dig up the statue but had no success.

Wat Phranang Sang This temple is located 20 kilometres from town on the Thepkasattri Road at Thalang district. An old and historical landmark of Phuket, the temple was once a fort resisting Burmese invasion around 1785. Inside the old chapel are enshrined the three oldest and largest Buddha statues made of tin. Called the Three Kings, they are positioned in the midsections of another three large statues.

Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Conservation Development and Extension Centre Its duty is to promote, distribute and wildlife within Khao Phra Thaeo wildlife park. The park is located near Thalang district, 22 kilometres from Phuket Town. 22.28 square kilometers of virgin forest are coverd by this park, which also actively conserves a number of wild animals; they would otherwise be extinct in fast-growing Phuket. It is a hub for study of the natural environment and the forest vegetation is sensational. Giant trees supported by huge buttresses are thick with creepers and climbers of every description.

Ton Sai Waterfall A small falls, over which pours a great volume of water during the summer season. The trees, watercourses, and pools nearby supply one of Phuket's loveliest scenes. The park head office with an exceptional view are also at Ton Sai.

Bang Pae Waterfall An additional waterfall in the sanctuary which is located at Tambon Pa Khlok past the Two Heroines Monument. There is an arboretum and a nursery to rehabilitate captured gibbons ahead of returning them to the wild.

Animal sanctuary Visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project by the beautiful Bang Pae waterfall. They have a visitor centre manned by Western volunteers and English speaking Thai staff who will talk to you about the project. Talks are free, but please support the project by buying a souvenir, sponsoring a gibbon or giving a donation. Don't have your photo taken with a captive gibbon in Phuket or on the beaches.

The Big Buddha of Phuket Formerly, officially known as "Phra Puttamingmongkol Akenakkiri" and now called the Mingmongkol Buddha image, it is still referred to as the Big Buddha by everybody in Phuket. Sitting peacefully in the meditating posture and on a dominant summit between Karon and Chalong it overlooks Chalong Bay and far beyond. So dominant is the Big Buddha that it can be seen from many of the southern parts of Phuket Island as well as nearby islands. At a height of 45 m and width at the base of nearly 25m it is completely covered in white Burmese marble tiles which signify purity. The foundation of the Buddha is wrapped in giant white marble covered lotus leaves signifying love and happiness.

Off-shore islands

There are 39 islands to the south and east off Phuket, featuring forests and mountains, rocky formations, beaches, coral reefs and fishing. The main ports are Chalong and Rawai. Islands with accommodation are listed above, but some others open to day trips include:

Ko Taphao Yai , 10 minutes by ferry from Ao Makham on Phuket’s southeast coast. The island is home to the Bucerotes hornbill.

Ko Rang Yai , lying off Phuket’s east coast, has been developed for the soft adventure tourist. Among various activities are snorkelling on the coral reefs, sea kayaking, mountain-biking, playing miniature golf, and visiting the island’s pearl farm. Package tours are provided by tour agencies.

Ko Nakha Noi , just off Ao Po on the northeastern shore, is popular for its pearl farm. There are fine sandy beaches suitable for swimming and a seafood restaurant. Tourists can charter a boat at Ao Po or contact tour agencies for a tour package (generally including lunch).

Ko Khai Nok , a tiny island surrounded by white sandy beach, is suitable for swimming and snorkelling. To get there, one can hire a boat from Si-Re Island’s pier.



  Scuba diving, snorkeling, SNUBA, yachting, jet-skiing and parasailing are the largely popular activities on the island. Generally dive sites are off nearby islands, but distances are somewhat short and there are dozens of dive shops and boats to cater to your needs, mostly based near Chalong Pier. In addition there are high-quality snorkeling locations located off several of the most fashionable beaches. Seek neighborhood information regarding riptides, currents, and safe snorkeling areas.

Sailing and Yachting

Phuket has develop into the sailing and yachting center of Thailand and adjacent countries. It's home of the Phuket Race Week, Kings Cup Regatta, four modern marinas and a number of well sheltered anchorages which are crowded with yachts. The marinas are all located at the eastern side of the island which makes them an ideal initial point to explore the natural wonders of the Phang Nga Bay. An complete fleet of traditional junk rigged boats is located here, offering day trips. But as well real sailing yachts are on offer for this. Phuket has sailing yachts of almost every size and for all budgets on offer to explore the surrounding beautiful islands on a yacht charter. Sailing Thailand Island Cruises operates a wide array of sailing catamarans from budget to luxury, most of them located in Chalong Bay. Small sailing craft like Hobie Cats and Lasers are obtainable at most of the visitor hot spots on the west side, e.G. Patong and Kata.

Scuba Diving

Phuket Island has some decent dive sites and the leading diving center in Thailand if not the whole of Asia. The reefs around the area are in a healthy condition with both solid and colorfully soft corals. Nearby is also an abundance of marine life. Most of the dive locations are appropriate for all levels of divers but there are also a few that are quite deep.

The generally well-known dive site in the Phuket area is Racha Yai with its sloping rocky reefs and its plentitude of solid coral forests. There is also Ter Bay where there is an exciting wreck in the depths of 25-35 meters. The area south Racha Yai, Racha Noi, is a haven for experienced divers as the depths are greater and the currents stronger. The overall topography is strikingly diverse from Racha Yai with enormous granite boulders. The diving in Racha Noi compared to Racha Yai is definitely extra challenging but the rewards are far greater.

Just off Phuket, is the limestone island of Koh Doc Mai that soars vertically from the sea-bed. It is home to a diversity of fish and offers the opportunity to view leopard sharks, moray eels, octopus and turtles. Further afield, most particularly around the enduringly well-liked Phi Phi Islands in neighbouring Krabi province, some 2 hours east of Phuket, and the Similan Islands, in Phang-nga province, some 110 kilometres northwest of Phuket, and the Raya Islands, 1-3 hours due south of Phuket, depending on the type of boat. Diving in Phuket's warm clear blue waters is unsurpassed from mid-October to May, when the calm seas and rain free days make Phuket diving a truly unique experience.



This can be enjoyed in protected bays all around Phuket. It is particularly enjoyable at effortlessly accessible reefs at Patong, Karon and Kata beaches. Fins, mask and snorkel can be rented on a daily basis from shops all over the island. Full and half day trips are on hand to the islands surrounding Phuket. Most popular are Coral Island, Racha Yai (Raya Island), Khai Islands, and Phi Phi Islands. There are many tours available at very cheap prices and the speedboats will be filled with up to 65 people. Explore your options before signing up for any tour.


Snuba diving is the safest and easiest way to try diving on holiday in Phuket. Popular in Hawaii, the Carribean, Mexico, and Japan, Snuba gives an introduction into the world of diving. No certification required, children 8+, just like scuba diving except easier. SNUBA trips go to most Phuket dive sites. No heavy equipment to wear, no long classes, maximum depth of 7 meters, professional dive guides accompany each group. SNUBA is available only through licensed and insured SNUBA Recreational Centers.


This can be enjoyed throughout the year, and is mostly safe. However, during the rainy season’ storms this can be very dangerous. Look for posted signs and flags indicating conditions for safe swimming; if the red flag is flying, do not go swimming in the ocean!


Boards may be rented by the hour, half day, full day, or week at most major beaches. Tuition is available free.


Daily tours are available, making early morning departures and late afternoon returns, mostly to lesser islands to fish for Red Snappers, Rainbow Runners and other game fish.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Sea Canoe and Kayak. Limestone, unspoiled caves, lagoons, mangroves and local animal, canoeing and kayaking is one of the most popular activities while taking trips in Phuket. We bring you to the beautiful Phang Nga Bay, one of the world's most picturesque and spectacular landscapes. Paddle past mangrove swamps and cliff-lined lagoons that thrust up from the ocean, or tuck into hidden lagoons when tide just right. You can either choose the original sea canoe or canoeing visiting James Bond Island.


You can go surfing in Phuket on most of the Western facing beaches from April to September.

Elephant riding

This is a excellent way to support the remaining domesticated elephants of Thailand and their mahout, is fairly cheap, and can be an interesting further experience. The elephants are well trained, and you can tip the mahout by giving the money to the elephant who will give it to the mahout with its trunk.

Phuket Golf Course

The golf courses of Phuket are of international standard. Each one has its own unique challenges and scenic splendour that only Phuket can offer. Discount green fee are to be had by booking through Phuket golf booking agencies.Karon Beach also has a minigolf course.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai orThai Boxing martial arts lovers, a visit to the live Thai Boxing competition is a must. Don't anticipate the blood bath as fights are aimed at visitors, but you always anticipate the good match for real spectacle. If you are enthusiastic to learn Thai Boxing, there are several gymnasiums or training camps around the island.

Mountain Biking

It's easier than it looks. Most any person can enjoy themselves on a mountain bike, which has gearing sufficient to take the mightiest incline.


Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Park offers the best trekking in Phuket with a well preserved natural environment. May through October is the best time for jungle trekking, when the forest is complete of blossoms. The park has a clear hiking route for visitors to follow.

Other sports

Other sports and games such as go-karting, bungy jump and paintball are available at Patong.



Phuket has evolved into a major center for spas and wellness in recent years. Several world-class facilities have been built around the island, and all of the island’s top resorts are scurrying to either expand or develop their own in-house spa services. Many offer a blend of Eastern and Western, classy to modern techniques in a tranquil environment, often at lower prices than spas with similar standards of service and luxury in the West.

You can receive a Thai traditional massage costing as little as 250-300 baht, or indulge in a pampering spa treatment program for 7,000 baht or more. There is something here to suite all tastes and budgets. The more basic facilities may be little more than a shop house with a row of chairs or daybeds for giving massages and facial treatments, and there are numerous other places all the way up to a full-service spa such as spas in 5-star hotels/resorts, where a sensational range of treatments are provided in an elegant setting.

  Cultural Shows and Entertainment    

Here is breif outline of some of the Cultural Shows around the Island

Phuket Fantasea

The very biggest of all Phuket's extravaganzas, Fantasea brings Hollywood-sized, Las Vegas-style entertainment to the island. Remarkable acrobatics, dazzling light work, stunning arrangement design and a host of animal action bring together in a song and dance spectacular that brings to life tales of history and mythology that will leave visitors in no doubt that Phuket was at least as, if not more, exciting way back when.

Palace of the Elephants

Palace of the Elephants is a modern theater with traditional acoustics. The theater has seats for 3,000 persons. It is a restoration of a Sukhothai-era stone palace, with exciting elephant stature-enactmentan admire a fascinations show which mixes both culture and illusion.

“Fantasy of a Kingdom” Culture – Illusion Show

Created by international experts and resident professionals, the ultimate in Las Vegas-style theatrical productions, this theater puts on a fascinating extravaganza combining culture and illusion. The nine themes are: Thai culture, magical illusions, 4-dimensional effects, aerial performance, acrobatics, inside pyrotechnics, special sound effects, elephant spectacle and stunts. The show is from 9 p.M. til 10:15 p.M. and reservation is recommended.

Festival Village

Home to the Kamala people, this village is a haven for shoppers. Things on sale includes the likes of: Silk, leather, handicrafts, ceramics, jewelry, souvenirs, unusual items about elephants and Siamese twins etc.. Shoppers can also admire a demonstration of traditional and crafts and enjoy cultural parades, pageants, street shows and elephant rides. Park Operating Hours: 17:30 p.M. - 23:30 p.M.

Simon Cabaret

There's not a diva in the West who can compare, and many a catwalk kind has turned green with envy at the sight of the lady-boy performers of Simon Cabaret. This hugely well-liked visitor attraction, on the hill just outside Patong, has been wowing audiences for years with its exotic, hilarious and transvestite cabaret. With sets and choreography that would do Broadway justice, and gowns dripping with diamante, the boys who are girls stiletto-strut their stuff to full houses each night at 7.30 p.M. And 9.30 p.M.




Phuket Shopping. In this major tourism industry of Thailand, Phuket offers a good shopping opportunities to satisfy fanatical shopaholic. From roadside stalls to glittering department stores, from junk jewellery to traditional handicrafts, textiles, ceramics and antiques it is time to start bargaining. Generally, shopping in Phuket is easy and fun. The famous shopping spots found in Patong night bazaar, Phuket town and major department store around Phuket. In case of Taxi or friendly strangers who offer to take you shopping, a commission will be paid to them by outlets, and of course is added to the money you spend.

There are two giant shopping malls in Phuket: Central Festival, at the northwest edge of Phuket Town, and Jungceylon, in Patong.





Food in Phuket is surprisingly cosmopolitan, especially in Patong Beach, as many foreigners have set up shop to cater to their fellow travellers. All the usual Thai favorites are of course still available, with a particular emphasis on seafood. See the individual town articles for detailed listings.

Phuket has its own style of preparation and cooking. Some of interesting local dishes include:

  • Fried or Boiled Noodle Dishes usually with pork or chicken, are available at many noodle shops in the town such as Mi Ton Pho, Mi Sapam, Mi Ao Ke, Mi Hun Pa Chang, and etc.
  • Khanom Jin a version of noodles taken at breakfast, usually served with a spicy curry sauce and fresh vegetables.
  • Nam Phrik Kung Siap is a mixture of dried chili and smoked shrimps eaten with various fresh vegetables.

Cashew nuts and pineapples are grown in Phuket and available all year round. The nuts are available dried, fried or coated. Phuket pineapples are some of the most delectable, sweet and firm.



  Night Life    
  Phuket Night Life. For those who want a night for more stimulation at the end of the day, the nightlife in Phuket is an vibrant atmosphere of the world experience that will surely enjoy you with the widest variety of bars and nightclubs. Of course, the most notorious nightlife area is Patong as all venue of bars, snazzy clubs, live music, go-go bars and stunning cabaret shows located. Other foreign flavours are Kata, Karon and Phuket town.  



There is a glut of rooms in hotels of all sizes and classifications, serviced (catered) apartment complexes (so-called 'mansions') and homestays. It's a buyers' market even in high season (Nov-May), with air-con room rates starting at under 500 baht, and 2-3 bedroom furnished houses available for 7000-10000 baht/month. For budget accommodation, the best rates are usually those negotiated in person.

  Weather and Climate    

Phuket has a moist, tropical climate with three seasons - warm, rainy, and hot. Weather here is warm all year round but the most popular time to travel is from November through March due to cool NE monsoon season with the average temperature of 70F to 90F (25C to 31C). This period also the best time for scuba diving and water activities. The rainy season starts from July through October, with the plenty of showers usually in October.

Even at this time, heavy showers is normally disrupted by moments or days of sunshine. Hottest periods, dry weather occurs between March and April with the temperature of 79F to 98F (28C to 35C). Thai new year schedule on 13 of April as you will be sprinkled by Thais and tourists, No Choice! In brief, Phuket is an island for all seasons, always offers something to the visitor on each period of year.

  Stay Safe    

Particularly in the summer monsoon season, there are strong currents on many of the beaches and drownings are a depressingly common occurrence; four tourists died during a single 3-day stretch in June 2009. Heed the warning flags on popular beaches and play it safe if off the beaten track.

Crime as of late has definitely increased in the Phuket area among Farangs (tourists) and you should keep this is mind and be vigilant of anyone who wants to befriend you or trick you into gambling (which is illegal) and anything else you consider out of the ordinary. Katoeys (Ladyboys) are notorious for pick pocketing as you walk around the tourist areas at night. Also muggings do take place on regular occurrences. Avoid walking down unlit sois; stick to the main roads. If something looks/sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Tourist police can be contacted locally using - 1155 - They have a good basic understanding of English, so if in trouble these people should be contacted. Thai police speak hardly any English and normally take the side of the locals even if it is their fault. Always insist on Tourist Police if you have any run-in with the Thai Police.

  For information on what has been happening in and around Phuket,the local Island wide radio station Phuket FM Radio is the best source of up to the minute weather and activities, broadcasting on 91.5 FM with hourly news bullitens from The BBC in London, available 24 hours a day and online at There is also The Phuket Post newspaper aimed at the tourist market and Phuket Gazette the local ‘expat’ news paper. There are many local magazines and free tourist brochures and ‘flyers’ produced and easily found at the various tourist offices.    


  Stay Healthy    

Tap water is generally not potable. Liquids from sealed bottles nearly always are, and should be used wherever possible. Take care in restaurants and bars...some may use untreated/unsafe tap water to make ice for drinks that otherwise have bottled/safe ingredients. Some residents claim that ice with round holes is made by commercial ice makers who purify their water; others state that it is wise not to rely on that claim. Tap water in most hotels should not be used for drinking or brushing teeth unless explicitly labeled as safe.

Click the banner above to listen to 91.5FM or visit the main site at

Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved.